Austin airport announces its busiest month ever serving more than 2M travelers

As the City of Austin continues to grow, so too does the number of travelers passing through Austin’s airport. 

On Tuesday, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport announced it had its busiest month ever in May 2024.

"We've been coming through the Austin airport probably for about 20-some years," said frequent ABIA traveler Debbie Gomez.

Gomez had plenty of company flying out Tuesday night, and busy seems to be the new normal.

"May was our record-breaking month," said Leslie Ramirez, a public information specialist for the airport.

Last month, ABIA served 2,068,404 travelers. Passenger traffic was up 4.37% over last May, beating July 2023 as the busiest month on record.

"So it kind of foreshadows what we're about to see this summer," said Ramirez.

The numbers are pretty impressive, given that May was a month without any big festivals, major races at the Circuit of the Americas, or rare solar events.

"I think that's actually something we were trying to figure out among ourselves, kind of what drove that growth," said Ramirez.

But there’s no doubt that last month’s record is part of a much larger trend. Perhaps fittingly, the airport turned 25 in May, going from around six million yearly passengers when it opened in 1999, to 22 million in 2023, the busiest year on record.


"I think it reflects the story of Austin as well, just how fast Austin has grown," said Ramirez. "The hardest part has been fitting all of these travelers inside of our airport."

One of the biggest changes to help meet that growth are upgrades to the airport’s TSA checkpoints, to make getting through security more efficient. Right now, Checkpoint 3 is closed while it’s being expanded.

"It’ll be a lot bigger. It'll have more queuing space. It'll eventually have more lanes," said Ramirez.

New safety technology has been deployed following recent incidents, like a runway surveillance system, and a control tower simulator. New federal funding will help hire more air traffic controllers, and a revamped baggage handling system is in the works, too.

Then there’s the massive west gate expansion which will add roughly 84,000 square feet to the terminal come 2026.

"Thanking our passengers for their patience as we go through those growing pains and as we work to bring those projects online," said Ramirez.

FOX 7 spoke to passengers who said so far, so good.

"I think they've done a good job keeping up," said Gomez. "We’ve never had any issues as far as I remember."

As for the Fourth of July next week, airport officials are expecting it to be busy, but not necessarily record-breaking. Since the holiday falls on a Thursday, passenger volume will likely be more spread out throughout the week. They’re expecting about 30,000 passengers on a given day. But you’re still advised to arrive early, and leave plenty of time.